This Sunday, 10th October is designated ‘Prisoners Sunday’. It is a day when the Catholic Church of England and Wales “responds to Jesus’ invitation to visit the prisoner”.

Pact is the national Catholic charity which provides support to men, women and young people in prison, people with convictions, and their children and families. Our vision is of a society in which justice is understood as a process of restoration and healing, and where the innate dignity and worth of every human is valued

Prisoners and their families have been severely affected by the pandemic; in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, people have been confined to cells for 23hrs a day. Families have suffered prolonged separation as visits have been largely suspended since March 2020.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the President of Pact said

“Let us not forget the needs of prisoners are great and growing. the pandemic has meant many being confined to their cells 23 hours each day for many months and not receiving visits form their loved ones”.

In England and Wales there are almost 79,000 people in prison and just under 90,000 children with a parent in prison. Research shows that keeping links between those in prison and their families reduces the risk of prisoners committing further crime after release by 39%. This is a key aspect of our work. We depend almost entirely on the generosity of the Catholic community for donations to fund our core operation; Prisoners’ Sunday is, therefore, crucial to their ministry. Resources to support schools, and parishes with schools attached can be found here